A STUDENT who hacked into the social network Facebook in an attempt to show the firm his skills has been jailed for his trouble.
Glenn Mangham, 26, was only trying to show the firm the weaknesses in its security when he accessed it, according to a report at the Guardian, but his actions whipped US authorities into a panic.
They were worried that the social networking web site was being targeted by industrial spies in a serious case of espionage. The student denied this, and he and his lawyer described his work as 'ethical' hacking, explaining that in the past he had been "rewarded" by Yahoo for a similar service.
"It was to identify vulnerabilities in the system so I could compile a report that I could then bundle over to Facebook and show them what was wrong with their system," explained Mangham in court.
This fell on deaf ears however. "He acted with determination and undoubted ingenuity and it was sophisticated, it was calculating," said prosecutor Sandip Patel.
"This represents the most extensive and grave incident of social media hacking to be brought before the British courts."
Mangham, who has been given an eight month sentence, is described as of good character, and has never been in trouble with the law before. The Guardian suggests that he might have Aspergers syndrome, like Gary McKinnon.
In a statement the UK Crown Prosecution Service said that this was the most "extensive and flagrant incidence of social media hacking" evah.
"Glenn Steven Mangham has pleaded guilty to two computer misuse offences, one of them the most serious offence under the Computer Misuse Act which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years. This was the most extensive and flagrant incidence of social media hacking to be brought before British courts. Fortunately, this did not involve any personal user data being compromised," said Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service.
"We worked closely with the Met's Police Central e-Crime Unit, the FBI and the US Department of Justice to prepare a strong and compelling prosecution case and faced with that case, Mangham has admitted responsibility for his acts. He claimed his intention was to improve security but the method he decided to use to achieve this was actually illegal." µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ